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Another old unreviewed Hack and Slash

  • pianotm
  • 05/25/2017 10:02 PM
Name: Terra Nova: Eyes of the Machine

Developer: psy_wombats, bob_esc, quack_tape

Story: You are a cyborg, android, or something of that nature--it isn't made clear--, but you are a fighting machine built to defend Terra Nova. You meet your creator and he gives you the weapons you need to go out and defend Terra Nova base.

Writing: Short and to the point. Terra Nova is eager to get to the gameplay, and I appreciate that, but the game does spend a little setting up the scene. Everything you check out demonstrates something is really wrong with this base, and when you meet your creator, he names you Tau and immediately rallies you to defend the base from unknown attackers. The story does very well getting you eager for the gameplay. It begins by building a sense of mystery and foreboding, and then dispels all of that throws you into the thick of it.

Hello! Hello! Hello! Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone there?

Gameplay: So, I'm going to be comparing this Nightmare Johnny, mostly because gameplay wise, Nightmare Johnny did the same thing and did it so much better. You have two weapons. You have your primary weapon, a laser partition, and you have your secondary weapon, a gun that I can't remember the name of. You have a shield that you activate with control. You can also jump. As with Nightmare Johnny, combat is hack n' slash and the POV is top down. So, first let's talk about the system. The AI works a little bit better here than it did for Nightmare Johnny. Unlike Nightmare Johnny, here enemies can attack you even if you're striking them, although they still have you to wait for your command move to be completed, so the combat is a little more challenging here.

Only use your laser partition. The reason is that your gun is useless. There must be something wrong with the variable because I shot an enemy soldier something like 20 times, and then ran up to him through his gun fire and hit with the laser partition because I still had to hit him four times to kill him. Also, enemy guns don't work so well, either. They may do serious damage to you, but that's provided they fire. I encountered several troops who tried to shoot you, failed and then never fired again. It seems that the graphic for the gun bolt sometimes gets stuck in place, when this happens, sometimes the gun will keep working and sometimes it won't. Also, it will sometimes, the graphic hit's the graphic of the soldier who fired the weapon. When this happens, the enemy troop's gun stops working.

Also, if there is a way to heal, I've never encountered it, and the game never indicates that healing is possible. With the gun problems, especially yours being useless, and the inability to heal, this game is Nintendo hard. Also, the shield is not the best to use either. It works, but there's no real point using it, because in order to fight, you have to open yourself to attack anyway, so the second you retaliate against a troop who's spam shooting, you're just going to take damage anyway, so you may as well just forget your shield. By using it, you're just prolonging the inevitable; you have to take damage to deal damage in situations like this. Fortunately, gunfire is fairly easy to avoid, most troops don't use guns, and those troops that do, their guns often glitch out.

The game's not impossibly hard, but it takes some solid player reflexes to advance. All of the glitchiness would even out if healing were a thing, but it doesn't seem to be, so the challenge is really going to amp up. I also advanced past the first level and still didn't regain health, so I feel like this might be a significant issue.

Phallic weapons make dudes blush!

I've pretty much covered all of the glitches, so I may as well move on.

Graphics and music: All of it has been ripped from various sources with the exception of a few resources, such as the busts, and the main character graphic. All of it's been put to very good use.

Conclusion: It's a fun game, with a really neat premise. Unfortunately, it needs a lot of polish and tweaking before it can really compete with other games of its type.


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Wow, you got it working! And it seems that you managed to play it for long enough in spite of the glitches as well! May I then interest you in Psychotronik? It's also a hack-n-slash thing and while it was too difficult and glitchy for me, I think it works better then this one does as far as gameplay goes. (The writing, though, possesses a ridiculous amount of typos since it was originally made in Polish.)
The TM is for TimTam Marauder
Oh! I actually looked at that one and decided to skip it after reading your comment about it! I guess I'll give it a try!
Oh! I actually looked at that one and decided to skip it after reading your comment about it! I guess I'll give it a try!

Haha, that comment actually feels a little overblown after I played some of the truly horrific games we have. There, it was mostly me expressing disbelief at its incredible inconsistency: somehow, it has a whole lot of custom art and animations that are often quite impressive, yet the dev made no effort to do a decent translation, or story, and gameplay is arguable at best. It has a hacking minigame thing that appears briefly and is kinda obtuse to trigger, yet looks better and is far more fun then the main gameplay.

In short, if you made it through something as broken as above (at least, enough to write a review), you should (probably) make it through that game too. Then, you can try comparing both to Goatchild: Nightmare, which might just have the most complex real-time combat on the entirety of RMN.
Ah, thanks for taking a look piano. I feel kind of bad about this game in that there are narrative parts of it I like, RM2K-tech parts I like, but the whole thing is a mess, even without time constraints. Like, only solution would be a complete remake. I have half of that remake sitting on my HD somewhere, but probably best to just file this one under juvenilia.
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